Lions fluff chances to seal WP victory
IT WAS honours even between WP and the Golden Lions at the end of a thrilling last game of day three at the Coca-Cola Craven Week at St Stithians yesterday.
The final score was 13-13, with both sides scoring two tries and a penalty. Province got theirs in the first minutes of each half, with the Lions having the edge in possession and territory in between. Poor goal-kicking and handling errors probably cost them victory in the end.
On the balance, the game was as even as the scoreline shows. Both sets of backs looked exciting with ball in hand, but fierce tackling from both saw precious few try-scoring opportunities. Province had the breakdown, making a number of crucial turnovers, but the Lions had the edge in the scrums and it was from one mighty effort close to the WP line that they won the penalty that took them to 13 points.
Province were awarded a penalty of their own immediately afterwards, which Quan Eymann slotted to tie it up, and the game ended shortly afterward. Lions reserve prop, Nkosikhona Masuku, was a revelation, he destroyed the Province scrum almost single-handedly, and he was rewarded with the Hero of the Day award.
The result will have complicated matters for the fixtures committee. A winner would probably have gone through to the final to meet either SWD or the Sharks, who meet in today’s late game.
As it stands, either Free State, who are unbeaten after beating the Pumas today, or the Lions, as the home province, will probably get the nod. Free State were given quite a fright by the Pumas in the day’s curtain-raiser. They won quite comfortably in the end but they were 21-0 ahead at one stage before the Pumas closed the gap to a single point by half-time.
The sides swopped tries regularly throughout the second half and the Pumas came to within a single point on two more occasions. Free State were 42-41 ahead with six minutes to go, but they then scored three further tries, without reply, to run out 63-41 winners.
Free State ran in nine tries, all converted by Christopher Schreuder. Ruhann Greyling and Rikus Pretorius got two each, with Marcel Theunissen, Teboho Rampai, Keaton Swart, Arno Nieuwoudt and Janco Van Heynigen scoring the others.
Teboho Mosia dotted down twice for the Pumas, with Tiaan de Beer, Stephan Van der Bank, Prince Nkabinde and Thabiso Mkwabane getting one each. Van der Bank kicked a penalty and four conversions.